Religion, Politics and Acceptance


I am struggling with the Buddhist way of accepting something, someone.  I love to discuss politics  or religion with people.   The thing is, the Buddhists are right in that these discussions serve no purpose.  Plus Buddhist learn to accept other people as they are.  That is very hard to do. I’ve only become aware of how many judgmental thoughts enter my head every minute.  Each time a car pulls out in front of me.  That guy’s not really a jerk, he just misjudged your speed.  You’ve done it too.  I’m sure you have.  You walk past a person and think things like: christ what an outfit. That sort of thing.  That guy drives like a jerk, that kid looks like a trouble maker.  Only they’re actually little flashes of judgmental thinking.  It’s very hard not to judge people as they go by, size them up, Society says we can’t just look at each other and say good morning.  Instead we pass each other each of us thinking, “she dresses funny.”

So I’m working on that, and have to stop myself innumerable times a day.  I take some pride in knowing how Buddhists remain so calm and quiet, nothing bothers them.  I know a man who is like this naturally.  People think him odd.  Some think he’s unfriendly.

Why do people argue politics and religion?  I do (currently) because people say you shouldn’t (and religious fanatics are dangerous).  It’s been sort of a a naughty delight for me to hear what other people think, and then think, ” How can they think that way?  They’re wrong.”  The only purpose these discussions take place is in an effort to prove that the other party is wrong.  Conversion is what these discussions are all about.  An attempt to get the other person to agree with you.  You both pull out quotes, cite statistics, to prove your point.

Now I know why I shouldn’t discuss god or politics.  Not because people get hot around the collar, but because it is useless, and (as I think the Dalai Lama said) “It does not further.”  Why do I think I will change your mind?  Why would you?  Why should you?  But I have to accept that the other person is as right as I am.  I also have to not care if the other guy thinks he just won the argument.  I know one thing for sure, you will never change that person’s mind any more than he would change yours.  After all, each of you is correct.  Why not agree you are both right and move on.

So I’m changing my ways, trying to be gentle in everything I do, but when life intrudes I find I am still as argumentative and defensive as ever.  How do I become that gentle person?

I promise not to discuss religion or politics with people-even if they are wrong.I will not forward Atheistic material-even though I think Atheists need to remove that stigma.
I will try not to judge people’s hair style, clothing choice, etc.-even if I come up with a funny put-down.
I will do my best to learn to accept.

The other side of trying to change is my desire to move to Seattle, even though my husband is strongly against it.  This seems like I have to put my own feelings aside.  That my opinion or my desires do not count.  Do I accept that as well? I  It would seem to go against everything I am trying to do.  I think I might be able to accept not moving to Washington, if we settle in Long Beach or similar.  But we can’t abandon Tom.  So here I am looking for 3 bedroom apartment in Long Beach.  Nothing will have changed except our address.  I feel like a snake chasing his own tail.

I think going to a Buddhist retreat would do me good.  Sort of speed up this process of acceptance since I will have someone to guide me.  There is a Buddhist temple not too far from here.  I think I will go down and visit it.  I will go to the meditation at least twice a week (that means tomorrow and Friday!), and finish reading my book on meditation.

All of this to become a better person, for if I don’t improve myself, how can I hope to improve the world?

15 thoughts on “Religion, Politics and Acceptance

  1. I applaud you for trying. I don’t know when I became less judgmental, but I did, and I am much more peaceful. Far from perfect, but definitely more peaceful. I’ll leave you with a big cliché — it’s a journey not a destination. I can already see progress from your writing.

    1. You’re right, it is a journey, and I am focusing on the destination. I get impatient, I guess. Thanks for noting there is a difference in my writing. I hadn’t noticed anything, but I’ll take your word for it.

  2. The biggest issue with Buddhism, really, is you have to accept Buddha looks like a penis. Once you can accept your god is a penis, then everything else in life is easy. Just ask the Kardashian’s or Paris Hilton, penising away… They get so much Buddhism that… well, you know why that crossed leg meditation position was invented- right?

    and if you add this to your comedy routine I want royalties 😛

    1. I never thought the Buddha looked like a penis! I’ll never look at him the same way again! Though I do worship the penis! At least *A* penis (my husbands…not that I see it often enough). 😀

      Thanks, you’ll get proper credit. lol

  3. It seems like you’ve made some decisions… I think if it gives you more a sense of peace then it’s good… I still sense a little uncertainty of where or if you want to move though. And you are still feeling as though you must take care of son … You’ve got to do what’s right for you … but in the long run it has to be right for him too… Will it only serve him to permanently depend on you… instead of himself….?? Just some thoughts… again only you know what is right… I’m thinking of what’s maybe good for you too.. Diane

    1. Thanks so much for taking time out of your hectic life to share your thoughts with me, Diane. It means a lot to me. I know getting son out on his own is very important and last night husband and I had a joint session with my therapist and we decided we need to get son to a point he can be on his own. The first step is walking him into the DMV to get his license properly renewed! That’s next week. Then he can take any job that comes along, while he goes to school. (He wants to learn to be a pharmacy tech…not that I think it’s wise for a drug addict to handle drugs regularly…makes as much sense as an alcoholic to be a bartender.) Feeling more positive today. One day at a time, right?

  4. May whatever gods that be smile on you and richly bless you as you seek the right path for Linda! May you be strengthened and find peace in all that you do.

    Warmest Affection,

    Ron

  5. I think you have to differ between the judging thing and accepting your life to be not your life but the life someone else wants you to live. Is the second one really buddhism? How can that make happy? Better go for weed which makes you care less then. Sorry. I think you should never give up and for me, accepting your situation with your husband feels like giving up. Am I wrong?
    Take care Linda,
    Chris

    1. Yes. It feels wrong to accept everything the way it is. That’s what I am struggling with right now. I know I don’t have to let Buddhism dictate everything in my life, but the promise of happiness is quite compelling. Am I just being selfish and egotistical, that’s the question, but I don’t think so. But even in Buddhism there is something about not letting people take advantage of you. As for weed, that is something Buddhists do not agree with either. I’m ok with that. I don’t smoke as much as I used to. The forgetfulness is a side effect I really dislike. Though I still enjoy the mini vacation! 🙂

      I send you blessings from across the ocean.
      Linda

      1. Glad to hear 🙂 you remember my song “ever try”? Posted the lyrics on my blog some time ago – “happiness is what she will feel, pursuing her dreams. It might not be the easy way but I follow my dreams”. I think happiness is something active. I might have to get a bit into Buddhism to find out more about their thoughts but at the moment my “proactive happiness” works fine for me 🙂
        Chris

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